Alabama ranked No. 8 in nation for economic momentum — ‘On the right path for the future’
Governor Kay Ivey on Monday announced that Alabama ranks among the top states for economic momentum in a new analysis that evaluates key measurements of economic performance in 2021.
The Washington, D.C.-based publication State Policy Reports ranked Alabama No. 8 in its Index of State Economic Momentum for the first quarter. The state’s score was 1.31, compared to a national average of zero.
The index ranks states based on their most recent performance in three important measures of economic vitality: personal income growth, employment growth and population growth.
In a release, Ivey said the Yellowhammer State’s ranking in the report shows that the state is fully on the road to recovery after nationwide economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve worked very hard over the past few years to strengthen the foundations of Alabama’s economy by encouraging business growth and equipping our workers with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century workplace,” Ivey stated. “I believe this ranking shows that Alabama is on the right path for the future.”
Alabama’s ranking was notably higher than its surrounding states of Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi, as well as the comparable South Carolina.
When it came to personal income growth, Alabama ranked No. 13 nationally, with a 4.8% gain during 2020, higher than the national average of 4%. For employment growth, the state scored No. 7 year-over-year. However, when looking at population growth, Alabama ranked in the middle of the pack for the one-year period ending July 1, 2020, with a gain of 0.3%, just below the national average.
Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, advised the state is poised for additional economic vitality, with nearly $5 billion in new capital investment tied to business growth projects announced last year.
“The robust level of economic development activity recorded in spite of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic gives me optimism for the future,” Canfield said in a statement. “I’m confident that Alabama’s economy is being re-energized for growth.”
Leaders in the Alabama Legislature said the report findings underscore the state’s strong economic prospects as the pandemic loosens its grip on the country.
Senate Pro Tem Greg Reed (R–Jasper) and Rep. Bill Poole (R–Tuscaloosa) earlier this year helped reauthorize two state economic development laws, the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Act; they are also spearheading efforts when it comes to enacting policy recommendations proposed by the Alabama Innovation Commission.
“These strong economic numbers, recorded in the midst of a pandemic, emphasize the resilience of Alabama’s economy. Our state has provided the tools needed to make Alabama a competitive place to invest and do business,” Reed remarked. “Bringing good-paying, high-quality jobs and economic opportunity to our state is the number one way we can increase quality of life for Alabamians. For that reason, economic development will continue to be a top priority of our state’s leadership in the future.”
Poole commented, “Alabama’s performance related to these key economic indexes demonstrates the resiliency of the citizens of our state in the face of the pandemic and validates the hard work that has been undertaken during recent years to grow and diversify Alabama’s economy.”
“These efforts have been collaborative across all branches of government, have been bipartisan, have involved public-private cooperation and have focused on strengthening Alabama’s ability to compete in a 21st century economy,” he continued. “These rankings should reinforce Alabama’s commitment to education and workforce development, to supporting the growth of our current businesses, and to strategically recruiting new businesses. It is also critical that we work together to strengthen Alabama’s competitiveness in the areas of innovation, technology, research and entrepreneurship. Our state’s continued focus on these objectives will serve to benefit all Alabamians.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn